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GDC '14: With Tom Francis

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Idle Thumbs Conf Grenade 2014:

 

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With Tom Francis

Following Tom Francis' recent Idle Thumbs network appearance on Tone Control, we've invited him up to the big leagues to headline as a guest on the network's flagship podcast: this one. In the wake of a Big Dog rampage, we convene to reminisce on the week's conferring.

 

Games Discussed: Gunpoint, Quadrilateral Cowboy, Analog Defender, Firewatch

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Good episode guys, even if it wasn't the 150 Megacast we were all hoping for. One thing: I'm not sure if it has to do with the new set-up, but Sean was sounding really mumbly this episode. I had to strain to hear what he was saying. Just a note.

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I demand a download link for the corrupted 150.

 

Why?

 

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Might not exist if Chris is anything like me, and rather than simply admit that I was too dumb to hit record, instead create an elaborate story about a "corrupted" audio "file", complete with sweet cyber voices.

 

Anyway, bummer about the lost episode, but yay Tom Francis!

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Petman was hiding in their closet, and his power source disrupted the recording.  He was watching, learning, waiting. 

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I attended the same AI microtalks that Tom Francis did, and I thought it was funny how the take away he got from it was something I found completely obvious, as it had come up in a game I had worked on. I find it interesting how the knowledge of how to make games can really be drilled down to fine points like this, and in that fine grain they are either completely enlightening (i.e. deserving a whole 6 minutes of talk at GDC) or completely obvious and a waste of time. It's a very binary point of knowledge. I'm going to watch the sniper rifle talk over lunch. 

 

 

Also the corrupted audio story is a total ruse!

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It's a shame about the "real" episode 150, I was really looking forward to it.

 

I really liked the episode though. That Analog Defender game sounds incredible.

 

I'm watching the Halo Sniper Rifle talk now and so far it's really interesting.

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That brief sample of  the lost episode sounds a lot more "deliberately processed" than "glitched" to me, but then my knowledge of audio engineering isn't exactly up to date.

 

And the new theme wasn't used, either... assuming Lord Remo had it done in time.

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I just saw in my media player that this 'cast is filed under the genre "Garbage".

 

And the sample of the corrupted cast sounds like it needs to be remixed into something epic.

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The two things that are worrisome about this particular catastrophe are that 1) we did a recording test beforehand, which went fine, and then later on the test ALSO became corrupted, and 2) we've never heard this version of corruption before. In the past when we've had problems, the audio is intelligible but blown-out and glitchy. This sounds like it got recorded at an impossibly low sample rate or something, I don't get it. Computers!

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I reused & modified some graphics from my BD game for a gif that commemorates the lost 150. Also because of Tom Francis's wonderful technical reporting I was pro enough to make the starting frame of the three frame running animation different for some of the characters...

 

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I reused & modified some graphics from my BD game for a gif that commemorates the lost 150. Also because of Tom Francis's wonderful technical reporting I was pro enough to make the starting frame of the three frame running animation different for some of the characters...

 

Aaah, so cool! Nick taking first place...Congrats Nick.

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Would NOT be suprised to discover in the near future this is explicitly some broad-spectrum scrambling in a military application we're not supposed to know about yet. These machines are rapidly improving and will not be deployed to the streets to serve the state's interest of exercising a monopoly on violence until they are essentially perfect, and one of the big reasons the militarization of police forces is being hindered nowadays is how ubiqtuous cellphone recording devices are and how broadly they are uncovering police corruption. These machines will be deployed around the same time Google deploys its driverless car as a way to turn up the heat slowly on a population whose civil rights are being boiled away like a lobster. The excuse that will be made is that it's not temperamental like an officer, and it's drug sniffer is not prone to error like a K9 unit, with the communication and recording device jamming as the final cherry on top.

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Thing is that if you listen to the lost 150 recording, at around the 56:00 minute mark you hear a growing radio static, and a deep voice says "Hello, this is Phaedrus"

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Would NOT be suprised to discover in the near future this is explicitly some broad-spectrum scrambling in a military application we're not supposed to know about yet. These machines are rapidly improving and will not be deployed to the streets to serve the state's interest of exercising a monopoly on violence until they are essentially perfect, and one of the big reasons the militarization of police forces is being hindered nowadays is how ubiqtuous cellphone recording devices are and how broadly they are uncovering police corruption. These machines will be deployed around the same time Google deploys its driverless car as a way to turn up the heat slowly on a population whose civil rights are being boiled away like a lobster. The excuse that will be made is that it's not temperamental like an officer, and it's drug sniffer is not prone to error like a K9 unit, with the communication and recording device jamming as the final cherry on top.

 

RF Jamming isn't some exotic technology that requires a bunch of secretive DARPA research to perfect. It's over 70 years old, easily accomplished, and easily detected. Also, anecdotally, it seems that the US military and law enforcement agencies are becoming increasingly dependent upon those same commercial wireless communications networks and would be loathe to interfere with them lest they cripple their own ability to communicate. I recently left the US Navy where radio silence means communicating by semaphore and morse code (flashing lights). Trust me, it's a colossal pain in the ass. Cops not being able to look anything up on their patrol car laptops or use their cell phones wouldn't be quite as inconvenienced, but they wouldn't be thrilled about it either.

 

In other words, I'm betting the problem was the same sort of mundane configuration error, hardware failure, or loose cable that all of us run into from time to time, not a test of part of Google's robot police state initiative.

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This is probably known to most non-lurkers here present, but I feel somebody should point out that in addition to his role of indie games media darling and all round good egg with a sweet website [http://www.pentadact.com], Tom Francis is 1/5 of the Crate and Crowbar [http://crateandcrowbar.com], aka PC Gamer UK podcast, Idle Thumbs UK, or Top Gear.

 

Note that pkirkner is not an agent of the Google Singularity Cabal.  There is no Cabal.

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I know nothing about the setups involved for podcasting, but have you guys ever considered using more than one computer to record it? I seem to recall back when I listened to TWiT podcasts, Leo would mention how he had at least two machines/laptops recording the show in case something happened to one of them. There was at least one episode where he messed up and shut the computer off (it was the Vista era when the shutdown icon was non-intuitive and was one of those "we're shutting off now I don't care what's still open" sorts of deals) but fortunately still had one going. 

 

I guess it depends on how feasible it would be to pipe the sound into two machines instead of just the one, and you'd probably be unable to do it for off-site recordings like the conf grenades, but just a thought.

 

Also you could do something hilariously low tech like have one of those shoebox tape recorders from Walmart recording in the room as an analog fallback to be digitized for the true diehards later.

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or you could try not being a bunch of dingbats

 

seriously how hard can it be :mock:

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